Toward the end of the semester, when most students had their minds on schoolwork, freshmen liberal arts major Makenna Dubler and international studies major Danielle Taylor were thinking about condoms.
Over the last week, the women’s thoughts manifested into a colorful, rubbery metaphorical social message: a light bulb sculpture with a caption that read: “When you’re turned on, turn it on.”
Judged as part of the ASAP’s Condom Concoction Competition Tuesday, the duo’s bright idea put into words the purpose of the competition.
“We think we got the point across that it’s a bright idea to wear a condom,” Dubler said. “Having something taboo like condoms stuffed in your face in hilarious ways, makes it seem more normal.”
Displayed in the Lory Student Center commons, the condom creations elicited fits of giggles and unusual stares from passersby.
A condom and condom wrapper skirt; the house from the movie “UP” floated by condom, rather than regular, balloons; a pregnant woman and a pirate ship served to turn students on to safe sex as part of World’s AIDS Day, which was celebrated globally last Tuesday.
Students were asked to make condom art in the categories of clothing, accessories, art or miscellaneous.
Shauna DeLuca, an International Education coordinator, Harthshorn professional Debra Morris and art major Nick Croghan judged each entry. The entries were also voted on by students to win the People’s Choice prize.
“It’s a little disturbing,” said Quinn Salyards, a sophomore technical journalism and communication major, about the sculptures, but added the creations were a good way to put something as questionable as sex out in the open.
“Who is going to walk through here and not look at it,” said freshmen zoology major Arielle Harwood. “It’s entertaining, and it’s going to grab people’s attention.”
Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood spokesperson Monica McCafferty said that, of the 19 million sexually transmitted diseases that are transferred annually, almost half are from students between the ages of 15 and 24.
“These alarming numbers make it clear that it is important for young adults to maintain a healthy reproductive system,” McCafferty said. “This (the rate of infection) can be reduced if they know how to protect themselves and their partner.”
Annually, 128,000 people visit the Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood and 93 percent of these visits are for prevention care.
“Even though it’s a very common issue, many students don’t get tested for STDs,” McCafferty said.
McCafferty also said nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, according to the Guttermacher Institute, a global organization that conducts scientific research, political analysis and public education about sexual health.
“Awareness to safer sex is certainly needed based on statistics,” McCafferty said.
Staff writer Matt Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.